576. Writing and Drawing

In an introductory note to this chapter, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch writes that most Jews are already familiar with the prohibited labors of Shabbos and that he is only addressing common situations with which people may not be familiar. Clearly, the laws of Shabbos constitute an area requiring much greater study than this email alone will allow.

80:61 Just as we may not detach anything from a tree, we may not detach anything from a pot in which one grows herbs or roses for their beauty or their fragrance. We must be careful not to move a potted plant that is resting directly on the ground, which is considered like uprooting it. Similarly, we may not move a potted plant onto the ground, which is considered like planting it. We must be careful about this whether the pot is made of wood or earthenware, and whether it’s the kind with a hole in the bottom or not.

80:62 We are not permitted to write or draw any picture on Shabbos, not even with one’s finger in a spilled liquid, in condensation on a window pane, or with anything equally impermanent. One may not even scratch a mark on something using his fingernail as a reminder to do something. If wax or something similar dripped onto some text, even if it’s only on a single letter, it may not be removed on Shabbos.